Nursing Home Assault: Bend, Oregon Nursing Home Lawyer Explains Liability

Assault in a Nursing Home: Bend, Oregon Nursing Home Lawyer Explains What Happens


Nursing homes are expensive  We expect that our loved ones are being properly cared for with the medical attention that they need.  This is, after all, why our loved ones and our family decide that a nursing home is the best decision for the safety and health of our loved one.  However, unfortunately, a nursing home may end up causing more injuries and damages to our loved ones.  This may be caused by Oregon medical malpractice or Oregon nursing home malpractice.  This could also be caused by nursing home abuse or neglect.


The worst type of injury, however, is nursing home assault.  This is a criminal act where the violator causes specific injury to a loved one.  This is an intentional act and is violent.  It can consist of punching, kicked, striking, pulling, pushing, or hitting with an object.  An assault is a very serious act in both tort law and criminal law.  We are not paying exorbitant fees to a nursing home for its staff to assault our loved ones.  This injuries can be so damaging and destructive that it could lead to the permanent paralysis or even the wrongful death of a loved one.


However, an assault is an intentional act.  This means that most insurance carriers will NOT cover an assault at a nursing home.  Meaning that an insurance carrier will not pay the victim of an assault because it was an intentional act, or one that was intended, purposeful, and knowing.  Rather, most insurance is meant to cover the reckless, careless, or negligent acts.  This are “accidents,” not intentional acts.  Thus, a victim who has been assaulted by a nursing home staff member may appear to be out of options for compensation for his or her injuries.  Or is he?


Liability Against the Nursing Home for Assaults


While most insurance carriers will only cover for negligent acts (reckless, careless, or other accidents), and not intentional acts, a victim of an Oregon nursing home assault may have other options.  The first is indeed a negligence case against the nursing home itself.  This is not just for the acts of its employee in assaulting the resident (because that is an intentional case), but the negligence in hiring, training, and supervising the employee who assaulted the resident.


For instance, if the assaulter applies for a job at the nursing home and has been convicted of assaulting residents at other nursing homes two or three times before, the nursing home may be negligent in hiring an individual with that record.  While there are some protections for individuals with prior convictions under state and federal law, which cannot generally be used to not hire someone, when the prior crimes related to the job applied for and there is reasonably probability that the individual may commit similar crimes in the future, an employer may be able to decline to hire that individual.  Hence in the case of a nursing home applicant who has been convicted of assaulting nursing home residents, if the nursing home hires him or her and another assault occurs, the nursing home may be liable under a careless, reckless, and negligence theory of negligent hiring.  This means that the insurance policy will cover the assault in most instances.


Another type of negligence case is for negligent supervision or training.  This is when the nursing home does not adequately and properly supervise the actions of the assaulter.  If the assaulter is becoming agitated or angry at a certain resident, these may be warning signs that a supervisor or nursing home representative should recognize and determine that the employee should be removed from working with that individual before friction starts a fight.  Nursing home should also be training their supervises to watch for this spark, just as they should be training their staff how to deescalate and identify a potential risk.


Victims of Oregon Nursing Home Assaults Should Call our Central Oregon Nursing Home Lawyer


If a loved one has been assaulted in a nursing home and the insurance company is declining coverage to pay, you may have still have a negligence claim against the nursing home itself for improperly hiring, supervising, or training the employee who committed the assault.  Call our Oregon nursing home abuse lawyer to learn how we can help you.


We handle cases throughout Oregon and Central Oregon, including Deschutes County, Redmond, Sisters, La Pine, Madras, Prineville, The Dalles, Hood River, Clackamas, Corvallis, Albany, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Tigard, Salem, Portland, Hillsboro, Vancouver, Washington, Beaverton, Oregon City, Eugene, Coos Bay, Astoria, Newport, Pendleton, Tillamook,  Milwaukie, Gresham, Hillsboro, Medford, and any other city, including Bend, Oregon where our main law office is located, please call Kuhlman Law, LLC by dialing (541) 385-1999 to learn what your rights to compensation you may have.  You may also contact us using our easy and convenient “contact us” box at the bottom of our website.  If we accept your case, we will conduct a thorough investigation to get you the answers you deserve, all for free.  There is no risk, and you only pay us if we recover compensation for you.

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